Wish FM guilty of breaching listener trust
Ofcom has said Wish FM breached listeners’ trust causing them to be materially misled after a complaint was made about a breakfast show feature.
One person complained to the regulator that Neal Atkinson’s feature “Loser Line” did not use genuine callers.
Loser Line is similar to a feature previously used by Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1 where the station provides a mobile phone number for people to give out to a anyone who asks for their number but with whom they wanted no further contact.
Upon investigation, the station admitted to using calls made by friends and family six years earlier to the same feature which ran on Neal’s show at Juice FM in Liverpool.
The Licensee said it decided to run the feature even though they had a ban on all wind-up calls, saying the “Loser Line” item was not affected because he thought hoax calls were made from radio stations to members of the public only and not the other way around.
The station has since dropped the feature admitting that the there was “no doubt that the Loser Line fell below the standards expected and demanded”.
Ofcom noted the licensee’s immediate acknowledgement and the measures taken as a result to improve compliance in this area in the future but still found the station in breach of Rule 2.2
Rule 2.2: “Factual programmes or items or portrayals of factual matters must not materially mislead the audience.”